What it's all about

COW works as a kind of bulletin board service. Its advantage is that you can access it from the internet using a regular web browser. It allows the Fair Witness to set up a structure of topics to discuss, with conversations under each topic. Information (including hyperlinks and images) can be put on display and accessed by anyone who is permitted into the conference, much like a regular web page.

Within the conversations, COW allows Participants to post messages, replies and commentaries. Everyone in the conference can see and respond to posts in any conversation.

COW doesn't work in 'real time,' meaning that you can't converse with the other members like you would person to person or on another tool like Internet Relay Chat (IRC). You can think of COW as a way to put e-mail messages on display for an entire class in an organized, user-friendly way.

COW is separated into three sections as shown below...

Tree Diagram

In addition, COW allows two kinds of members: Fair Witnesses and Participants. Fair Witnesses (or instructors) administer each conference. Fair Witnesses are in charge of setting up the conference, adding users to the access list so they can view the conference, creating topics of discussion, and regulating the conversations that take place. Participants are the students. Their 'job' is to check by regularly for new information and to take part in the conversations.

Next Section

Last Modified: Friday, 15-Feb-2002 15:35:49 EST

Originally generated by Shahaf Abileah and Aaron Rosen for OIT.
Now maintained by the COW Administrators

Copyright 1996-1998 Regents of the University of Michigan